Byzantium

A Very Short Introduction

Author: Peter Sarris

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0199236119

Category: History

Page: 142

View: 9914

Explores the fusion of Roman political culture, Greek intellectual tradition, and Christian faith that characterized Byzantium. Shows how the empire held power for eleven centuries and why it ultimately fell.
Posted in History

Late Antiquity: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Gillian Clark

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191611409

Category: History

Page: 152

View: 9446

Late antiquity: decline or transformation, conflict or interaction? Late antiquity is the period (c.300 - c.800) in which barbarian invasions ended Roman Empire in Western Europe by the fifth century and Arab invasions ended Roman rule over the eastern and southern Mediterranean coasts by the seventh century. Asking 'what, where, and when' Gillian Clark presents an introduction to the concept of late antiquity and the events of its time. Not only a period of cultural clashes, political restructurings, and geographical controversies, Clark also demonstrates the sheer richness and diversity of religious life as well as the significant changes to trade, economy, archaeology, and towns. Encapsulating significant developments through vignettes, she reflects upon the period by asking the question 'How much can we recognise in the world of late antiquity?' ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Posted in History

The Oxford History of Byzantium

Author: Cyril Mango

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191500828

Category: History

Page: 352

View: 1857

The Oxford History of Byzantium is the only history to provide in concise form detailed coverage of Byzantium from its Roman beginnings to the fall of Constantinople and assimilation into the Turkish Empire. Lively essays and beautiful illustrations portray the emergence and development of a distinctive civilization, covering the period from the fourth century to the mid-fifteenth century. The authors - all working at the cutting edge of their particular fields - outline the political history of the Byzantine state and bring to life the evolution of a colourful culture. In AD 324, the Emperor Constantine the Great chose Byzantion, an ancient Greek colony at the mouth of the Thracian Bosphorous, as his imperial residence. He renamed the place 'Constaninopolis nova Roma', 'Constantinople, the new Rome' and the city (modern Istanbul) became the Eastern capital of the later Roman empire. The new Rome outlived the old and Constantine's successors continued to regard themselves as the legitimate emperors of Rome, just as their subjects called themselves Romaioi, or Romans long after they had forgotten the Latin language. In the sixteenth century, Western humanists gave this eastern Roman empire ruled from Constantinople the epithet 'Byzantine'. Against a backdrop of stories of emperors, intrigues, battles, and bishops, this Oxford History uncovers the hidden mechanisms - economic, social, and demographic - that underlay the history of events. The authors explore everyday life in cities and villages, manufacture and trade, machinery of government, the church as an instrument of state, minorities, education, literary activity, beliefs and superstitions, monasticism, iconoclasm, the rise of Islam, and the fusion with Western, or Latin, culture. Byzantium linked the ancient and modern worlds, shaping traditions and handing down to both Eastern and Western civilization a vibrant legacy.
Posted in History

Law: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Raymond Wacks

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191579572

Category: Law

Page: 192

View: 3066

Law underlies our society - it protects our rights, imposes duties on each of us, and establishes a framework for the conduct of almost every social, political, and economic activity. The punishment of crime, compensation of the injured, and the enforcement of contracts are merely some of the tasks of a modern legal system. It also strives to achieve justice, promote freedom, and protect our security. The result is a system that, while it touches all of our daily lives, is properly understood by only a few, with its impenetrable jargon, obsolete procedures, and interminable stream of Byzantine statutes and judgments of the courts. This clear, jargon-free Very Short Introduction aims to redress that balance, as it introduces the essentials of law and legal systems in a lively, accessible, and stimulating manner. Explaining the main concepts, terms, and processes of the legal system, it focuses on the Western tradition (the common law and the civil law), but also includes discussions of other legal systems, such as customary law and Islamic law. And it looks to the future too, as globalization and rapid advances in technology place increasing strain on our current legal system. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Posted in Law

Ancient Warfare: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Harry Sidebottom

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191577979

Category: History

Page: 192

View: 6408

Greek and Roman warfare differed from other cultures and was unlike any other forms of warfare before and after. The key difference is often held to be that the Greeks and Romans practised a 'Western Way of War', where the aim is an open, decisive battle, won by courage instilled in part by discipline. Harry Sidebottom looks at how and why this 'Western Way of War' was constructed and maintained by the Greeks and Romans, why this concept is so popular and prevalent today, and at whether or not this is an accurate interpretation. All aspects of ancient warfare are thoroughly examined - from philosophy and strategy to the technical skills needed to fight. He looks at war in the wider context - how wars could shape classical society, and how the individual's identity could be constructed by war, for example the Christian soldier fighting in God's name. He also explores the ways in which ancient society thought about conflict: Can a war be just? Why was siege warfare particularly bloody? What role did divine intervention play in the outcome of a battle? Taking fascinating examples from the Iliad, Tacitus, and the Persian Wars, Sidebottom uses arresting anecdotes and striking visual images to show that the any understanding of ancient war is an ongoing process of interpretation. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Posted in History

The Middle Ages

A Very Short Introduction

Author: Miri Rubin

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0199697299

Category: History

Page: 139

View: 4765

The Middle Ages (c.500-1500) includes a thousand years of European history. In this Very Short Introduction Miri Rubin tells the story of the times through the people and their lifestyles. Including stories of kingship and Christian salvation, agriculture and trade, Rubin demonstrates the remarkable nature and legacy of the Middle Ages.
Posted in History

The Roman Republic: A Very Short Introduction

Author: David M. Gwynn

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191642355

Category: History

Page: 168

View: 5201

The rise and fall of the Roman Republic occupies a special place in the history of Western civilization. From humble beginnings on the seven hills beside the Tiber, the city of Rome grew to dominate the ancient Mediterranean. Led by her senatorial aristocracy, Republican armies defeated Carthage and the successor kingdoms of Alexander the Great, and brought the surrounding peoples to east and west into the Roman sphere. Yet the triumph of the Republic was also its tragedy. In this Very Short Introduction, David M. Gwynn provides a fascinating introduction to the history of the Roman Republic and its literary and material sources, bringing to life the culture and society of Republican Rome and its ongoing significance within our modern world. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Posted in History

Muhammad: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Jonathan A.C. Brown

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199559287

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 140

View: 4486

Drawing on traditional Muslim sources, Michael Cook describes Muhammad's life and teaching. He also attempts to stand back from this traditional picture to show how far it is historically justified.
Posted in Biography & Autobiography

Christian Art

A Very Short Introduction

Author: Beth Williamson

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 019280328X

Category: Art

Page: 132

View: 6597

This work decodes the key themes, signs and symbols found in Christian art - the Eucharist, the Crucifixion, the Virgin Mary. It also explores the theological and historical background of Christian imagery, from the devotional works of the medieval and Renaissance periods, to the 21st century.
Posted in Art

The Roman Empire: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Christopher Kelly

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192803913

Category: History

Page: 153

View: 1264

The Roman Empire was a remarkable achievement. With a population of sixty million people, it encircled the Mediterranean and stretched from northern England to North Africa and Syria. This Very Short Introduction covers the history of the empire at its height, looking at its people, religions and social structures. It explains how it deployed violence, 'romanisation', and tactical power to develop an astonishingly uniform culture from Rome to its furthest outreaches.
Posted in History

The Habsburg Empire

Author: Martyn Rady

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198792964

Category: History

Page: 144

View: 9896

The Habsburgs are the most famous dynasty in continental Europe. From the thirteenth to the twentieth centuries, they ruled much of Central Europe, and for two centuries were also rulers of Spain. Through the Spanish connection, they acquired lands around the Mediterranean and a chunk of the New World, spreading eastwards to include the Philippines. Reaching from South-East Asia to what is now Ukraine, the Habsburg Empire was truly global. In this Very Short Introduction Martin Rady looks at the history of the Habsburgs, from their tenth-century origins in Switzerland, to the dissolution of the Habsburg Empire in 1918. He introduces the pantheon of Habsburg rulers, which included adventurers, lunatics, and at least one monarch who was so malformed that his true portrait could never be exhibited. He also discusses the lands and kingdoms that made up the Habsburg Empire, and the decisive moments that shaped their history. Dynasty, Europe, global power, and the idea of the multi-national state all converge on the history of the Habsburg Empire. Martin Rady shows how. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Posted in History

Babylonia: a Very Short Introduction

Author: Trevor Bryce

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0198726473

Category: History

Page: 160

View: 9560

The history of Ancient Babylonia in ancient Mesopatamia is epic. After playing host to three great empires, the Hammurabic and Kassite empires, and the Neo-Babylonian Empire ruled by Nebuchadnezzar, it was conquered by the Persians. Entered triumphantly by Alexander the Great, it later provided the setting for the Conquerer's deathbed. Squabbled over by his heirs, Babylonia was subsequently dominated by the Parthian and Roman empires. In this Very Short Introduction, Trevor Bryce takes us on a journey of more than 2,000 years across the history and civilization of ancient Babylonia, from the emergence of its chief city, Babylon, as a modest village on the Euphrates in the 3rd millennium BC through successive phases of triumph, decline, and resurgence until its royal capital faded into obscurity in the Roman imperial era. Exploring key historical events as well as the day-to-day life of an ancient Babylonian, Bryce provides a comprehensive guide to one of history's most profound civilizations. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Posted in History

Ancient Greece

A History in Eleven Cities

Author: Paul Cartledge

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 9780191579608

Category: History

Page: 216

View: 326

The contribution of the Ancient Greeks to modern western culture is incalculable. In the worlds of art, architecture, myth, literature, and philosophy, the world we live in would be unrecognizably different without the formative influence of Ancient Greek models. Ancient Greek civilization was defined by the city - in Greek, the polis, from which we derive 'politics'. It is above all this feature of Greek civilization that has formed its most enduring legacy, spawning such key terms as aristocracy, oligarchy, tyranny and - last but by no means least - democracy. This highly stimulating introduction to Ancient Greece takes the polis as its starting point. Paul Cartledge uses the history of eleven major Greek cities to illuminate the most important and informative themes in Ancient Greek history, from the first documented use of the Greek language around 1400 BCE, through the glories of the Classical and Hellenistic periods, to the foundation of the Byzantine empire in around CE 330. Covering everything from politics, trade, and travel to slavery, gender, religion, and philosophy, it provides the ideal concise introduction to the history and culture of this remarkable civilization that helped give birth to the world as we know it.
Posted in History

The Lost World of Byzantium

Author: Jonathan Harris

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300178573

Category: History

Page: 264

View: 5529

A fresh, concise, and accessible history of one of the medieval world s greatest empires"
Posted in History

The Book of Mormon: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Terryl L. Givens

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199708940

Category: Religion

Page: 152

View: 2784

With over 140 million copies in print, and serving as the principal proselytizing tool of one of the world's fastest growing faiths, the Book of Mormon is undoubtedly one of the most influential religious texts produced in the western world. Written by Terryl Givens, a leading authority on Mormonism, this compact volume offers the only concise, accessible introduction to this extraordinary work. Givens examines the Book of Mormon first and foremost in terms of the claims that its narrators make for its historical genesis, its purpose as a sacred text, and its meaning for an audience which shifts over the course of the history it unfolds. The author traces five governing themes in particular--revelation, Christ, Zion, scripture, and covenant--and analyzes the Book's central doctrines and teachings. Some of these resonate with familiar nineteenth-century religious preoccupations; others consist of radical and unexpected takes on topics from the fall of Man to Christ's mortal ministries and the meaning of atonement. Givens also provides samples of a cast of characters that number in the hundreds, and analyzes representative passages from a work that encompasses tragedy, poetry, sermons, visions, family histories and military chronicles. Finally, this introduction surveys the contested origins and production of a work held by millions to be scripture, and reviews the scholarly debates that address questions of the record's historicity. Here then is an accessible guide to what is, by any measure, an indispensable key to understanding Mormonism. But it is also an introduction to a compelling and complex text that is too often overshadowed by the controversies that surround it. About the Series: Combining authority with wit, accessibility, and style, Very Short Introductions offer an introduction to some of life's most interesting topics. Written by experts for the newcomer, they demonstrate the finest contemporary thinking about the central problems and issues in hundreds of key topics, from philosophy to Freud, quantum theory to Islam.
Posted in Religion

Judaism

A Very Short Introduction

Author: Norman Solomon

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0199687358

Category: Religion

Page: 151

View: 2471

Outlines the basics of practical Judaism and considers how Judaism has responded to, and dealt with, a number of key issues and debates, including the impact of the Holocaust and the establishment of the State of Israel.
Posted in Religion

Complexity

A Very Short Introduction

Author: John H. Holland

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0199662541

Category: History

Page: 95

View: 3127

In this Very Short Introduction, John Holland presents an introduction to the science of complexity. Using examples from biology and economics, he shows how complexity science models the behaviour of complex systems.
Posted in History

The Crusades: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Christopher Tyerman

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192806556

Category: History

Page: 167

View: 1609

Crusading fervour gripped Europe for over 200 years, creating one of the most extraordinary, vivid episodes in world history. Whether the Crusades are regarded as the most romantic of Christian expeditions, or the last of the barbarian invasions, they have fascinated generations ever since. Were the Crusaders motivated by spiritual rewards, or by greed? Were they an experiment in European colonialism, or a manifestation of religious love? How were they organized and founded? Christopher Tyerman picks his way through the many debates to present a clear and lively discussion of the Crusades; bringing together issues of colonialism, cultural exchange, economic exploitation, and the relationship between past and present.
Posted in History

Borders: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Alexander C. Diener,Joshua Hagen

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199912653

Category: Social Science

Page: 152

View: 6106

Compelling and accessible, this Very Short Introduction challenges the perception of borders as passive lines on a map, revealing them instead to be integral forces in the economic, social, political, and environmental processes that shape our lives. Highlighting the historical development and continued relevance of borders, Alexander Diener and Joshua Hagen offer a powerful counterpoint to the idea of an imminent borderless world, underscoring the impact borders have on a range of issues, such as economic development, inter- and intra-state conflict, global terrorism, migration, nationalism, international law, environmental sustainability, and natural resource management. Diener and Hagen demonstrate how and why borders have been, are currently, and will undoubtedly remain hot topics across the social sciences and in the global headlines for years to come. This compact volume will appeal to a broad, interdisciplinary audience of scholars and students, including geographers, political scientists, anthropologists, sociologists, historians, international relations and law experts, as well as lay readers interested in understanding current events.
Posted in Social Science

The Silk Road: A Very Short Introduction

Author: James A. Millward

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199782865

Category: History

Page: 152

View: 6068

The Silk Road: A Very Short Introduction is a new look at an ancient subject: the silk road that linked China, India, Persia and the Mediterranean across the expanses of Central Asia. James A. Millward highlights unusual but important biological, technological and cultural exchanges over the silk roads that stimulated development across Eurasia and underpin civilization in our modern, globalized world.
Posted in History